Wednesday, January 4, 2012

5 REASONS I LOVE WRITING: The Writing Process and My Kids

By Chad Morris

I thought it might be a good idea to blog about why I like to write. It sure beat my other ideas to blog about why I had a mullet in high school, how I get carsick, or why “Cowboys and Aliens” is most likely a mediocre movie just because of its premise (I haven't seen it).  

There are many reasons why I love to write, but recently, I’ve been thinking about five of them. Here they are (surrounding Shelly and I):

Not the books, the kids. And yes, we actually brought books and laptops to our last family picture shoot--what Shelly wants, she gets. And yes, I know it's cheesy. Shelly convinced me that the adorableness factor of our kids would actually outweigh the cheese. 

My point is that I love writing because of my kids. More specifically . . . 

1) I love how knowing that I want my kids to read my stories (now or some day in the future) affects the way I write. I want to capture their imaginations, make them laugh, and help them love reading. It also helps me be rather responsible in my writing. I never want to write something I'd be ashamed if they read.

2) I love how it encourages them to read. They see Shelly and I writing and reading, and I think it encourages them to read more. A couple of the older ones even read some of the same books we read. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the Sandra Boynton phase, but this is SO much better.  

3) It teaches them about dreams. One day my son asked me why I write. I told him because it's a dream of mine to be published, and even though I have another job I love, and I'm old (in his eyes, and maybe in yours, but that's beside the point), I still believe in shooting for dreams. I hope he'll do the same. 

On a related note, I love how it teaches them about the realities of trying make dreams come true. I've told my children about submitting to publishers and agents, and they've been excited with me, and a little heartbroken too. It gives me a chance to teach that it will take persistence. Though sometimes I hate the persistence it takes, I love that they can see it and learn from it. 

4) They learn about the writing process. After I finished my latest manuscript and sent it through a few reviewers, I asked my then nine-year-old son if he wanted to read it, even though it’s technically a little above his reading level. He quickly agreed. I told him that I didn't just want to here what he liked, but what he didn't. I wanted to know when the book was slow and he wanted to put it down, as well as when he really enjoyed it. 

Despite all my talk, here are a few of his comments: 

In his defense, he did tell me the name Jacqueline was too hard to read, and he told me when some paragraphs were confusing.

I then gave it to my daughter, who didn't finish (She’s was only seven at the time), but she did doodle on it. 

I think it's great that they see me write and rewrite. They know I don't expect it to be perfect until the very end.) My son has even asked me to give him feedback on some of his stories. 

5. There are a lot of ways I'm involved in my children's lives (even though I was able to take the season off from little league coaching), this is a way they can be involved in mine. 

I submitted to a publisher just a few days ago. I told my children and they got a little too excited. My oldest has drawn possible covers for the book. The others pray that it will be accepted. I explained that though I’ve talked with this publisher about the concept of the book and they expressed some interest, this is FAR from a sure thing. The six-year-old twins demanded that I read it to them. The others agreed--even my oldest who has already read it.

Last night as they all lay tucked in their beds, I read chapter 2. The ones that were awake by the end begged for more. I'll take what I can get. 


  1. I love it! You're brilliant! PS--I totally agree with Shelly--the adorableness far outweighs the cheesy :). You guys are awesome parents!

  2. This is awesome. Kids give some of the best feedback. I write for my kids too. Knowing that they will read what I write effects my stories. Great post :)

  3. This is so cute/sweet/inspiring. Totally makes me want to write, right now.

  4. They actually say they want to see his book plummished. I'm still trying to figure out if that is good or bad ;)

  5. I love that picture of you and your family. And I think kids have the best feedback. This is why I write as well. So my kids will be able to read my books when they're older. Great post. :)

  6. Oh my gosh - this is the coolest, sweetest thing EVER! I love it! And I adore that picture of your family! It's fantastic :)

  7. This is a delightful post. And I love those critique comments. Those are awesome coming from little kids. I can see they've learned a lot already.

    Many years ago I knew a friend who was struggling through a divorce and the resulting poverty. Her 17-year-old son was very much aware of what she was and shared with her how much he'd learned by watching her.

    Go you, Chad!

  8. My younger sisters are all writers too, and they love sharing what they've written and hearing what we've written. During the last NaNoWriMo (the first for all of us) all four of us sisters, plus Mum took the challenge. It was so much fun sharing with everyone!

  9. I love this post. Makes me want to run over to my blog and make up another story with my kids in it.

  10. Great photo. You are lucky to have your kids growing up to love to read, write, and even critique. Some of us started way too late for all that. Maybe with the grandkids . . .

  11. That is awesome.

    I HOPE that I'm finding that balance between showing my kids that I want to do something, and doing it too much.

    Also - of COURSE your wife was right - your kids' cuteness outweighs the cheese :D

  12. LOVE your child's comments. And I completely agree with you about Cowboys and Aliens. Curious about the mullett, and good luck on the book query!


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